More movement is afoot in other countries:
• The Bank of Thailand, Bangkok, which regulates investments by the 320 billion Thai baht ($8.5 billion) government-administered Social Security Fund, among other public funds, announced earlier this year that it will allow more freedom for the fund to invest in foreign securities, including mutual funds but excluding hedge funds.
• The Korea Investment Corp., Seoul — which is modeled after the government-owned Singapore Investment Corp. — was established in 2005 to initially manage $20 billion in state assets. About 20% of the total portfolio will be managed internally in June, when the group will be fully operational, and foreign managers will likely be hired to run a portion of its assets. Further information about the amount of the total assets that would be managed by external managers was not available, but in a public speech in April, Kwon Tae-Shin, Korea's vice minister of finance and economy, said the KIC will offer "vast opportunities to the global players of the international financial market."
• Taiwan's Labor Insurance Fund, Taipei — one of four major state pension funds with total assets of about $35 billion — awarded mandates to international firms for the first time last year, all to U.S.-based firms (AllianceBernstein LP, Pacific Investment Management Co. and Wellington International Management Co. Pte. Ltd.). AllianceBernstein was hired to run two $100 million portfolios, one in active global equities and the other in active fixed income. Wellington and PIMCO each manage $100 million in active global equities and fixed-income, respectively. A new nationwide mandatory defined contribution program launched last July is expected to add about 100 billion new Taiwan dollars (US$3.2 billion) to the nation's public pension assets by the end of 2006. State funds are allowed to invest up to 10% of assets overseas, but actual investments fall far short of that, around 1% or less.
Other managers benefiting from Asia's emerging appetite for overseas institutional asset managers include: Western Asset Management Co., Franklin Templeton Investments, BlackRock Inc., Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Capital Research and Management Co. and Schroder Investment Management Ltd.